Like most New Englanders there’s not a lot in the way of college sports in my life. I do try and remedy that by flicking on a game here or there. Tournaments always draw my attention. Tournaments that feature some prominent NHL prospects more so. New York Rangers prospect Chris Kreider, Chicago BlackHawks Sophomore Kevin Hayes, and Boston Bruins blueliner of the future Tommy Cross headlined for the counts of the Conte Forum.
The visitors from Umass Amherst were a little lighter on NHL prospects. The final count for NHL prospects on the rosters was nine for Boston College and one for UMass Amherst. Teamwork, good coaching, and heart are more important in hockey than in any other sport. In the the first two periods the Boston College dominated play, aided by a five minute major to Steven Guzzo of UMass in the early first period.
The best player of the game was not a however a player who had their name called in the NHL draft. It was wasn’t even a member of the Eagles. Manapalan New Jersey’s Kevin Boyle stood between the pipes for the Minutemen. He was all UMass needed to make it a game at 6 foot 1 he’s smaller than the current trend towards gigantic goalies in the NHL, but about the same size as the last three men to win the Vezina, Tim Thomas, Ryan Miller and Martin Broduer. With an average goalie the game would have been out of hand by the end of the first period as the Eagles kept UMass hemmed in for most of the major and then rest of the period as well.
The third period belonged to Boyle and two other UMass players. Don Cohoon took his best skaters and barred them from the bench. Michael Marcou and Joel Hanley probably put in over twelve minutes a piece in the third period, after taking regular shifts in the first and second. In their own zone they got to pucks first and got them out. In the offensive zone their passing and puck protection was key. With just a little more luck, or Guzzo not getting tossed for hitting from behind minutes into the game Boyle, Marcou and Hanley would have stood equal to or better than all the NHL prospects on the other side.
Final score Boston College Eagles 3 – UMass Amherst MinuteMen 2.